Butterfly Chicken Breasts
This is one of the easiest weekday options for including meat in the meal - simple, quick and tasty. I often offer this dish alongside Butter Bean & Spinach Bake, as the sauce of the vegetarian/vegan dish works well with the chicken.
One chicken breast per person
Season All (e.g. Schwartz, easily found in the herb/seasoning section of your supermarket)
A little sunflower oil for frying
Place each chicken breast in turn on a chopping board. Now 'butterfly' the chicken breast.
To do this, with your hand flat on top of it, use a sharp knife to slice into one side of the breast, starting at the thicker end and ending at the thin point. Be careful not to cut all the way through to the other side. You are almost splitting the breast in two flat parts by cutting into the breast lengthways, but you do not separate it into two parts. Now, open out the breast so that it resembles a butterfly.
Cover with the chicken breast with cling film - I usually put the cling film right across the chopping board and tuck it in under the board on each side. Take a rolling pin and pummel the chicken breast to create an even thickness - it will become quite thin and flat. This is exactly what you want because it will cook evenly and quickly this way.
Sprinkle each side of each flattened chicken breast with Season All, and set aside.
Pour a little oil into a flat sauteuse or heavy based frying pan. Heat gently. Add the chicken breasts one at a time, or together if you have a big pan. Gently cook on each side until they start to brown. Lift each breast into an oven proof dish, cover with foil, and bake in the oven (180C, Gas Mark 4) for about 20 minutes. Check the chicken is cooked through (ie the juice run through and there is no pink in the flesh) and serve.
i) Add a breadcrumb coating to the chicken breasts: After you have 'butterflied' the chicken, you dip each chicken breast into some flour (covering each side evenly), then dip it into some beaten egg, and then into breadcrumbs. Make sure you that when you are dipping the chicken breast into the flour, egg and breadcrumbs you coat it evenly on each side. The breadcrumbs can be fresh or dried breadcrumbs from a packet. You can mix parmesan cheese in with the breadcrumbs to add interest.
ii) You can marinade the chicken breast once butterflied before cooking.